Season Change

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Saturday morning. Cuddles. Chat. It's still dark. We listen to the birds outside. The crow says caw. Caaaaaaw, caaaaaaaw. Amelia tells me that today is Ceiling's birthday. (Ceiling as in "the ceiling.") This is convenient, as we happen to be having a party tonight. I'm planning my dad's chili, potato-leek soup, and a chocolate cake. Our friends bring chips, salads, beer. Amelia decorates the cake (I use my cheater frosting — 2 cups of heavy cream, whipped, with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and a box of vanilla instant pudding mixed in; claggy but yummy) with sprinkles, pink hearts, and gold stars. She asks for candles. I forget that it's Ceiling's birthday until she asks for the candles. "How old is Ceiling?" I say. "Four." Ah. But oh, how I love three. Flowers, rain-showers, wet grass. Sunshine. Squabbles. Passion. Planting and playing. She hits her friend square in the forehead with a toy teacup and her friend pulls her hair. Kisses and tears and not sharing and then sharing. Windows open. Trees blooming. Freedom and fresh air. No more high chair, no more baby gates, no more crib. "I'm so proud of you, honey." "I'm so proud of you, Mom." Holding hands while we walk all the way to the grocery store. I pick her a bouquet of grape hyacinths and pansies and she arranges them herself in a tiny vase for her new nightstand. I turn on the fake fireplace in her little room. We can hear the raindrops hitting the window as we read, propped up with pillows in the new bed. There are soft new white sheets, a new quilt, and the softest, squishiest little eiderdown I ever did see. I feather a small, warm nest for my little bird. At the party, everyone sings "Happy Birthday" to Ceiling while Amelia points up, then blows out the candles. I pray for peace in this world.


My ceiling has never had a birthday. Suddenly I feel very remiss!! Such beautiful photos, and how wonderfully she holds that baby. Special times xx

Michaelanne says: March 23, 2016 at 05:20 AM

How in the world is that CEILING four allready!!! Happy Birthday! I love this post a time when there is SO much sadness in this world...your little blog is like a candle in the darkness..Much love to you...and yours! Mimi is blessed :) She has the prettiest little nest!

You are a poet of everyday magic - thank you as always for sharing.

Amen to the peace on earth.. Wishing you and yours a beautiful Easter. Your blog is so lovely,I'm grateful for your love filled posts.

Your pictures of the spring flowers and blue skies are beautiful! It seems like you must live on another planet as we are far from that yet. Thanks for giving us all hope that it is coming! ☺

GORGEOUS photos. Whenever I'm bogged down with the bad news that always seems to be circulating, I visit your blog and enjoy your beautiful photos.

Just delightful!...I love the mind of a simple!!!

Sarah May says: March 23, 2016 at 07:36 AM

Thank you for always knowing what to say to grasp all of the good and bad.

Beautiful. Such joy!

Lucky you with spring and all the marvellous petal colours. No such luck here...freezing rain warning today. Thanks for your post. So lovely.

It looks like you are having a beautiful spring. Amelia's new bed looks like a lovely place to curl up and take a nap. Too bad three year olds don't really like naps. They don't know what they're missing!

i love pictured you make her bed like a mama bird makes a nest :) a singing happy birthday to ceiling... love.

Oh! This brought tears to my eyes, I'm sure because my little one is the same age as yours, and it is everything you described. I'm not ready for her to be four yet, either. October, come slowly!

Happy birthday, Ceiling! Another spring in your world--I love seeing it arrive each year because I know it will come to NYC soon. (how sweetly she's holding the baby in that photo. adorable!)

Your post made me laugh and tear up. My children are older (youngest is 15), and I tend to forget so much of when they were little. Oh, the squabbles, the tears, and then, "I luv my brudder." Such wonderful times. I'm so happy for you that you get to live it now. And it always sounds like you're really getting it - this special time - you know it's golden treasure. God bless your family.

Children's imaginations are so free and beautiful...Ceiling's birthday. I love it. We have much to learn from children.

Amelia's bed looks so cozy under the eaves. I would love to curl up there myself. ;-)

Shelley Noble says: March 23, 2016 at 10:45 AM

This blog... is such sublime reading and viewing! A new kind of "book".

Oh my gosh...what an utterly beautiful post. I felt as if we were there in the very same room, cosied up with family and friends, celebrating and eating cake. Your blog is so wonderful and I feel blessed to get to view a snippet of your world. Wishing you a lovely week.

Every word, every thought and feeling expressed- just beautiful? 💜

I'm sure that ceiling is looking good for its age! Love the photo of Andy and Amelia on the sidewalk gazing at the sky. Spring is sure here in Portland!

Oh my your gorgeous words take my breath away... such beautiful photos, that stunner of your two loves laying down on the concrete through the front door - such a sweet capture... and her room looks like it's been feathered by a dear loving mama bird ... and peace, yes to peace please... humanity needs it so much ... much much more than we have...x

Jan Richards says: March 23, 2016 at 02:13 PM

Love your posts and the photo of Amelia and Andy lying on the sidewalk looking up is so dear. Peace to you and your family too.

Suzy O'Brien says: March 23, 2016 at 02:24 PM

So lovely

your photos ... oh my :)
just know that they are amazing!

and those words "I'm so proud of you"
sweetest words in our family too:)
(even though we're all grown-ups now, they still apply)

take good care you three
Barbara xxx

Beautiful big girl bed! Happy birthday, Ceiling! :)

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.